THUDGATE: U.S. Air Force Falcon Football: Parent's Weekend

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Christcorp, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    OK all you new cadets; as well as you seasoned cadets, alumni, family, and new applicants. It's the beginning of a New Year for "FALCON FOOTBALL"!!! :jump1:

    And the ONLY thing that comes close to a Falcon Football Game; especially on Parent's Weekend when you all HAVE TO BE THERE ANYWAY, is to come over and check out "THUDGATE".
    http://thudgate.blogspot.com/
    http://twitter.com/thudgate

    In a nutshell, a "THUD" is an F-105 fighter. One of our founders of "Thudgate" is the son of an F-105 pilot and Commander of the 18th Tactical Fighter Wing; who now rests peacefully at the academy overlooking the Rockies and the great city of Colorado Springs. In remembrance, we hold "Thudgate". The absolute biggest and best Tail-gate this side of the Mississippi. We bring together "THE FAMILY". Current cadets, you're starting to understand "THE FAMILY". The vets and military family members know "The Family" that I speak of. At "Thudgate", we bring "The Family" together. Retires; Active Duty; Officers, Enlisted, Family members, Cadets, Applicants, and friends. We have a tailgate that easily surpasses 100 people. This year's Parent's Weekend "Thudgate" is expected to reach about 250-300 people in and out throughout the day. (Told you it was big).

    But besides bringing "The Family" together for fun and good times, we NEVER EVER end our "Thudgate" before the game, without giving a "Toast to the Host". We toast to all those before us. We toast to those who serve our country today. And we toast our cadets and others who have committed themselves to defending and protecting our country in the days to come. Yes, most toast with Jeremiah Weed, but that isn't a requirement. The point is to toast our brave men and women of the past, present, and future. :beer1:

    So, please join us. If you are a parent/family member and plan on coming to Parent's Weekend, please come to the pre-game tailgate. Come to Thudgate. You new cadets; I'd be honored to meet many of you in person. (By the way Brian; no damn excuses. You better have your butt there. LOL). Anyway, everyone is invited. I will post more details this weekend. e.g. actual location (Not that you could miss us); as well as any other details.

    It's falcon football time. It's parent's weekend time. It's "THUDGATE" time. Come join your family. See you there. Mike.....
    :usa:
     
  2. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Geez...it IS that time again, isn't it!!!

    Folks...this is a FUN 'event' to attend! I was able to finally get up to visit my dad and also to attend "Thudgate" and it's a BLAST!!! :beer1:

    And CC is not a bad guy either, although he WILL try to get you to eat too much!! :stretcher:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  3. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    It's never too early to practice being an "Old, Bald, Fat guy" like me. :rockon:
     
  4. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    GET READY: I'M GOING TO BE THERE!!!:shake:

    I can't wait to meet ALL of you! I may even drag my cadets over so you can see - there really are two of them!

    Can't Wait, ChristCorp!
     
  5. Mikeandcris

    Mikeandcris Parents of 2014 Grad and F-15 Pilot

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    Looking forward to saying hello

    Hey Christcorp, my wife and I are looking forward to saying hi and thanking you for all your advice on this forum. I'll be the guy wearing the blue Academy shirt...take care, Mike and Cris
     
  6. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Mike and Cris: Here's a shocker: you won't be the only one in a blue Academy shirt! hahaha
     
  7. OBXmom

    OBXmom Member

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    Wooohoo! I look forward to seeing everyone there! :biggrin:
     
  8. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Most definitely looking forward to meeting many of you also. I've gotten to meet a lot of the cadets that have gone through this forum. It's always been my honor. I usually get down to the academy about 10-12 times a year. 6 of them at least are during football season. The bonding and sense of family established is normal in the air force. And the academy is just the beginning of many great days ahead for these cadets.

    Last year, just so happens it was at Thudgate, an incident happened that I will cherish literally for the rest of my life. A mom and dad was there for Parent's weekend for their new C4C. They had been lurking this forum, but never really contributed or posted any questions. She did however follow the posts about parent weekend and "things to do" while they were there visiting her son. She also read about "Thudgate" and decided to drop by during the tailgate prior to the game. About an hour or so after being at the tailgate, seeing all the cadets who were visiting, meeting the retirees, some active duty, parents/friends of current cadets, etc...; she saw the "Family" that we many times speak of here. She pulled me and one of my "brothers" to the side, and with "glassy eyes" thanked us. She said she had been very apprehensive about letting her son apply to the academy and join the Air Force. But after seeing the "Family" in action, the bonds that were being formed between the cadets, and how we all take care of each other; she was much more at peace, knowing that her son was in very good hands. That meant the world to me.

    This "Family" is not some show or some temporary thing. In the military, we move a LOT. Friendships can't take years to develop. You need to rely on others immediately. The only people you have that you can ALWAYS depend on, is your military family. Even military members that you've never met before, you know will help you if you need it. Just KNOWING THIS, is all you need sometimes to get you through some tough and difficult times. Unless you've "Been there", you just don't know. And through your career, whether it's TDY to a new base, in-processing, on leave and visiting a VFW/American Legion, USO, etc...; you know that there's people there to help you if needed. This woman recognized this for the first time, and she got to understand first hand something that most people only hear about.

    Anyway, that is what "Thudgate" is all about. It's about "The Family". It's about being there for each other. It's about showing respect to our family members: Past and Present. My first time at "Thudgate" was football season of 2007. My son received his appointment that October. He was also recruited 2 days later to play football for Air Force. We were invited to go down and see the team practicing. Many of the "Thudgate" family was there. (Yes, we're football fanatics). They welcomed us as if we had been members for years. We were part of the Air Force Family, and that was good enough.

    So, no more "stories". This thread is about coming together at "Thudgate" for our opening game, during parent's weekend. Just wanted those, who don't know much about the air force, to realize that we're not just talking about a "Pre-Football game Party". Yes, we do party. But Thudgate is much more than that. Cadets and their families are now part of a NEW Family. Something much bigger than themselves. And something that the rest of us, THANK YOU FOR and APPRECIATE. Your service to our country, including family members, is what allows America to be great. Hope to see you all there. Mike....
     
  9. laxfan17

    laxfan17 Member

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    Can't wait to see it and enjoy it. Laura and Mike
     
  10. pinkharley99

    pinkharley99 Member

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    I can't wait. I have been reading about THUDGATE since I joined the forum last year. It will be my first tailgating experience. It's going to be AWESOME!!!!! (I might even bring my spouse :biggrin:)
     
  11. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Cadets all must attend their official tailgates. But many of them, once they've made their symbolic appearance, usually walk around with their family and friends. We get a lot coming by "Thudgate". Most people who walk by see so many people, that they don't associate it with a tailgate. (Trust me, this started off like a normal 10-15 person tailgate). Many think we're some sort of official party. That's OK; all are welcomed. The only thing that's really bigger isn't really a tailgate. There's a really large tent next to us between the parking lot and stadium. Big white tent. Sort of looks like DIA Airport. That's also where there's some bouncy rides and stuff for the littler Falcon fans. (Kiddie-rides). The tent is more of a freelance area for people to hang out.

    Sometimes, like last year's game against TCU, when the weather was 18 degrees, freezing rain/sleet/snow/wind all at the same time, even our tailgate doesn't get very big. We only had about 40 people come through. Then again, I'm not sure if we even had 20,000 at the game. It was miserable. Then again, we've had tailgates that were at the 200 people mark. A lot of people coming, going, coming back, visiting the squadrons, coming back, etc... But Parent's weekend and when we play Navy or Army are usually our two biggest ones. (We always have either army or navy at home; not both). Basically, a lot of food, drink, and family fellowship. We've had 4 star generals all the way down to visiting airman basics and everyone in between. And when we play army or navy, the football field is a "WAR-ZONE", but the tailgate is family. We invite all of them over too. Matter of fact, we usually invite all of the opposing team's fans over. It's basic, simple, but fun and meaningful. Can't wait to see you all there. I'll post a map and more info this weekend. Later.... Mike.....
     
  12. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    My, my, what shall I wear? Simply EVERYONE will be wearing their USAFA shirts. Perhaps I'll wear my "Navy Mom" shirt? Or my "STEELERS ROCK THE WORLD" shirt? Or my "My Daughter's a Marine" shirt? So many choices! So many ways to stand out (and annoy others!).

    Can you tell what kind of day it is here in the Steeler Nation? Of course, I'll have on my "GO FALCONS" shirt! haha

    Can't wait, ChristCorp!
     
  13. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    How about a "I support Ben Roethlisberger" shirt?

    You'll certainly stand out AND annoy everyone (women especially).

    Those pink #7 Steeler jerseys are going for less than $15 on eBay. :thumb:
     
  14. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Luigi, you're killing me here!

    We were at the Udvar-Hazy museum in suburban VA last w/e and my daughter was wearing her Steelers Jersey (#43 Troy Polamalu). In less than an hour, literally eleven ppl made comments to her about the shirt, the team, etc. Only one was bad (about the Roethlisberger incident(s)). We were surprised though that that many ppl noticed/cared. No one would have commented at all if she'd been wearing a SeaHawks shirt or even Green Bay or Vikings.

    You may all return to your regularly scheduled forum topics now. :thumb:
     
  15. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    I would think that a Polamalu jersey would generate nothing but good comments, he's a class act, a credit to the organization.

    Steelers fans are everywhere in the country, as most people from Pittsburgh left in the mid 70's and moved out to find a job. There's a Steeler's bar in every city in the county because of this.
     
  16. MorganC

    MorganC Prospective

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    Totally off-topic, but I love his shampoo commercial
     
  17. Seamonkeydo

    Seamonkeydo Member

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    whoa flashback. When you said rolling rock beer I flew back to a time at my grandmothers house in Ford City PA. 40+ years ago.

    Sorry still of topic, but still alcohol.
     
  18. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Are you saying that thudgate is all about promoting alcohol???? :shake:

    It's not. Can't lie, there is definitely alcohol served and consumed there. It's a tail-gate. But we are very responsible people. And for those that don't drink many people bring as part of their contribution non-alcoholic drinks. Soda, juice, homemade apple cider, large thermoses of coffee for when we have an early tail-gate, etc... Definitely something for everyone. Hope to see you there. Mike.....
     
  19. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    We have been here for 20 years and it still shocks us that people all over the world are Steelers fans. Of course, we are now too. :thumb: When Roethlisberger had his motorcycle accident (maybe killed off a few too many brain cells in that one), all the local tv stations were 24/7 "Big Ben."

    Still, for a sports fan, there's just about no better city to live in, unless one actually expected his baseball team to have a winning season. haha

    Christcorp: you probably answered this above but where exactly does the Thudgate take place?
     
  20. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Go down 11 threads and there's another thread called Thudgate Info. It has all the details. I will BUMP it to put it back on top. Mike...
     

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